Ask Amy: Dad ready to lose cool over pot penalty arrangement

Dear Amy: My daughter is 19. Her boyfriend is 18. Over the summer, they were busted for smoking marijuana in her car. The officer gave them the option of letting just one of them take the fall.

My daughter volunteered; I considered this a very bad decision. If this gets on her record, she will lose her financial aid and college will be, if not impossible, then very, very hard. Her boyfriend, however, comes from a very well-heeled family.

Regardless, she said she would take the citation and he would pay the fine. Well, the case has now been heard and it was plea-bargained down to a lower offense, but it comes with probation and $700 in costs/attorney’s fees.

Her boyfriend has paid her $200. She says she is fine with that.

I am NOT fine with that. He’s well-off. She is broke and is working while going to a local college. He’s off at a university, and I think she’s worried that if she makes a big deal about this, he’ll reconsider the relationship. But Amy, if she gets busted any time in the next three years, her education is in jeopardy, while in his eyes this episode is over.

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I’m thinking about sending him a text saying that he has a couple of weeks to pay up, or else I’ll pay a visit to his parents and tell them the story. I believe one of his uncles was offering him $2,000 to stay “drug-free” through high school, although I do not know if this money was paid.

Is this too petty? Is this my business at all? She is an adult, but she’s still my daughter, and I think she’s being taken advantage of.

— Angry and Befuddled Dad

Dear Angry: Your daughter “took the fall” for smoking marijuana in her car. She was smoking. In her car. She got caught.

Your daughter’s own actions have jeopardized her financial and educational future, and she has accepted the consequences.

The way for her not to further jeopardize her future is to not get busted again. She should check to see if her record will be expunged after her probationary period is over.

Yes, if you want to end this relationship between your daughter and Richie Rich, then definitely send him a threatening text. Understand, however, that this will undermine your daughter’s own (so far) adultlike acceptance of her legal and financial penalty. She would also be rightfully very upset with you for interfering like a character from a Liam Neeson movie.

No, this is not your business, unless you are paying your daughter’s bills — and it doesn’t sound as if you are. You should always encourage her to stand up for herself, including when someone owes her money.

Dear Amy: I read your column addressing the call for civility, politeness and respect in the midst of a climate of vitriol and hatred (“Desperate About Discourse”).

The writer and your response call for a movement of respect, and I am pleased to share that our organization, Operation Respect (operationrespect.org), could be the movement you are looking for. From our curricula in schools (Don’t Laugh at Me Initiative) to onsite dialogue summits where those of strongly held opposing views learn to respectfully share, exchange and express their differences maturely and purposefully (Better Angels program), we’re amplifying civility in all the proper channels.

We welcome your readers to join the movement. Respectfully yours, and always!

— John A. McKenna, executive director, Operation Respect

Dear John: Thank you for getting in touch. Operation Respect was founded by singer Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) and does extensive “peace work” in schools.

Quoting here from a letter by Yarrow on your organization’s website: “ … let’s stop focusing on the battle that’s raging and live the legacy of goodness in our hearts for ourselves, and for our children’s sake, and the sake of our future.”

Dear Amy: I 100 percent disagree with your answer to “Wondering” about sending an email to her father’s friend who kissed her 15 years ago.

You missed a huge point! She invited this kiss by sitting and holding hands while he talked to her. Wondering has half the responsibility for giving vibes that kissing her was OK! (I’m a woman, by the way.)

— Not Wondering

Dear Not Wondering: “Wondering” was 18 years old. This man was a friend of her father’s. I got the impression that — far from sending “vibes” — she did not want to hold hands with him. She certainly didn’t want to kiss him.

(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.)

Copyright 2018 by Amy Dickinson

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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